Tell Congress to Support Nursing Home Provisions and Elder Justice Act Provisions
Congress is gearing up to pass several important nursing home provisions from the “Nursing Home Improvement and Accountability Act of 2021” (HR 5169). Language from the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (HR 4969) is included as well. We encourage you to reach out to your representatives and ask them to support these provisions!
The nursing home provisions will promote:
- Improved accuracy and reliability of data submitted to CMS through the payroll-based journal and quality measures or resident assessment data. This is important for obtaining accurate data on staffing levels and resident outcomes.
- Auditing of cost reports. This will ensure transparency for the billions of dollars of public funds the facilities get. Audits help discover whether taxpayer funds go to care and services for the residents.
- Review of and improvements to the survey and enforcement system. This will hold facilities accountable for meeting federal quality standards.
- A process for establishing minimum staffing standards in federal regulations. Consumer Voice has been advocating for minimum staffing standards for years. This is the opportunity to start the process and ensure adequate staffing for nursing home consumers.
The Elder Justice Act provides:
- Increased funding for the long-term care (LTC) ombudsman program, to support training and response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
- Funding for long term care workforce development in the form of grants to states and territories for wage subsidies, student loan repayment or tuition assistance, childcare, and transportation assistance.
- Grants and training for community-based organizations: to conduct outreach and interventions for individuals at risk for social isolation or loneliness.
Please take action to protect nursing home residents. We cannot trust the industry. For example, Harvard researchers recently discovered that at least 16,000 COVID-19 resident deaths and 68,000 cases were omitted from federal data. The missed data represented 11.6% of total COVID-19 cases and 14% of total deaths among nursing home residents in 2020. This is more than a simple oversight.